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Friday, 5th September 2008
In General Japan News,

Scientists test 'eco-rigs'

Japanese scientists are exploring the possibility of using massive at-sea generators as a source of green power.

Known as eco-rigs, the clean technology generators consist of photovoltaic generators and turbines and could generate as much energy as a nuclear power plant, reports GreenBiz.com.

The facilities could also provide an answer to rising energy costs and a scarcity of fossil fuel resources. They would also be fitted with light-emitting diodes serving seaweed nurseries which could stimulate fish stocks.

Each generator would produce around 300 megawatts of electricity with a cost-to-power generation rate favourably comparable to that of its nuclear counterpart.

Researchers at Kyushu University began testing a floating base for such a generator in July and estimate that eco-rigs could take around three years to develop.

The Times reports that Japan's faith in nuclear power was undermined by an earthquake in 2007 which caused one plant to close down.